|"Bone to be Wild"|
Mmm... hungry... Our crew may be about to become food, amidst a massive power struggle...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
So, the third part of the four-part season finale arc, and out of the four Bone to be Wild is by far the most stand-alone episode. Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to the standards set by the episodes it follows. Whilst by no means a terrible effort, the main plot of this episode is sadly not up to that much, so the show is more sold on the two sub-plots that seem to hold the show together.
The first thing I want to comment on is the whole laughing thing that was going on in this episode. Did I miss the joke? One of the things that felt out of place down on the asteroid was that, in particular John and Zhaan just kept laughing and smirking all the time. It seemed distinctly odd, and did start to get annoying at times. It was rather out of character.
But, whilst the acting down on the asteroid was a little below the usual standards (perhaps because they felt the story wasn't up to scratch?), the acting on the offspring and on Crais' Command Carrier were more of what we've come to expect. Claudia Black put in an outstanding performance as Aeryn, dropping her usual guard and becoming nice and motherly like. It was a nice progression of her character and worked well. Likewise, Wayne Pygram and Lani Tupu put in some wonderful moments as Scorpius and Crais, perfectly portraying the power struggle between the two, which led to the fist fight of somewhat epic proportions, with Scorpius showing off his rather scary side. Presumably that's the Scarran in him, and his whole "physical superiority" made him look very powerful, and the change of voice was a nice touch, too.
A quick mention goes to Rygel, for mentioning he has over 100 progeny, and that's only the official ones! Way to go Sparky!
But back to the "main" plot of the episode, which had M'Lee accusing Br'Nee of being the enemy, and vice-versa. And vice-versa. And again, and... well, you get the picture. It actually sounds, and to a certain extent was, quite interesting. M'Lee was a very interesting character, she feeds off bones, so would our crew be safe? As it turned out, they would, since she actually revealed the true secret behind Br'Nee, and ended up feeding off him, getting some revenge for him bringing her ancestors to the asteroid in the first place.
Both M'Lee and Br'Nee had interesting histories, and were also brought to life wonderfully by the Creature Shop. Particularly M'Lee's transformation during her hunger looked good, as did Br'Nee in general. The alien designs have always been an area where Farscape excels, and Bone to be Wild is no exception.
Another interesting aspect of the story was the moral implication of what the crew allowed to happen. They basically allowed M'Lee to go and slaughter the Peacekeepers. Thousands of them, they knew M'Lee would kill them one by one until she was caught. Though we may never find out what happens to them, I also found it interesting that Scorpius' tone when he hugged M'Lee at the end suggested that he knew what she was and what she would likely do. Could it be that he would allow some of Crais' followers to be slaughtered? I certainly wouldn't put it past him, the ruthless being that he is. It just seemed a little out of character that no one, particularly John, questioned the implications of M'Lee meeting the Peacekeepers. But, perhaps that shows how his character, and the others, have grown, particularly over the last few episodes. His torture has made him hate the PKs even more, and perhaps this hatred, and knowing that PKs don't give a second thought to what cruelty they subject others to, is what allowed him to go along with this without question. Perhaps, though, this aspect could have been touched upon a little more. D'Argo typically suggested it in the first place; his warrior survival instincts seemed to lead him to that.
Zhaan's camouflaging tactics were also an interesting revelation of her character, to go along with the shocker that she is a plant. The great thing about this revelation is that, while it's shocking the first time you hear it, it really makes sense. There have been many hints about it, particularly when she rolled about in the sun in Till the Blood Runs Clear. It could open up some interesting doors for the characters, and one such moment was when John mentioned "stupid plants", which evidently upset Zhaan since she is one such being. Unfortunately, it wasn't really dwelled upon, so we just brushed over it.
However, whilst the main story didn't add up to much, and was definitely more stand-alone than part of the arc, the moments with Aeryn and the offspring and Scorpius and Crais made up for it in many ways. As mentioned earlier, the scenes with Aeryn, sort of mothering the offspring were beautifully done, and very touching - something which is difficult when you're dealing with a person and a ship that can't talk. Also, Crais' downfall was done well, he went from cocky with Scorpius to downright scared and beaten, and the short scene when Lt. Braca asks for confirmation of Scorpius' orders, and Crais says to follow them, was well directed and acted, and really showed what Scorpius has reduced Crais to.
The visuals were also very good, with the sets looking good (the offspring, the interior of the Command Carrier, the asteroid...), and some superb direction from Andrew Prowse. It's just a great shame that the story didn't match up to the other good parts. The script was quite choppy in places, but did have its redeeming moments, such as the brief but interesting look at life as a Peacekeeper (the scenes on the Carrier), and the mothering scenes. It's perhaps unfortunate that Bone to be Wild comes at the time it does, after a string of six superb episodes, and on the heels of the season finale. We all have the highest hopes for that, but for now we have an episode that's not bad. It's just not that great either.
I love to hear your views, whether you agree or disagree, so feel free to e-mail me your feedback. Review by Dani Moure.
Did You Know?
M'Lee was played by Ben Browder's (John Crichton) wife, Francesca Buller. They haven't starred together before now in over ten years.
Scarrans apparently have great physical strength, since Scorpius uses that side of him to overcome a Sebacean (Crais).
Since she's flora-evolved, Zhaan seems to have the ability to camouflage herself amongst other plants and foliage. The special effect used actually made it look more like she just vanished, though.
Till the Blood Runs Clear
The Hidden Memory
D'Argo: "To put things in perspective Zhaan, you are the least thing on this asteroid that I am allergic to."
John: "Big guy's got a point - my rashes have got rashes!"
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